The 2007 Cheerwine professional women's cycling team gathered in North Carolina for its team presentation. The group arrived on Thursday in Pineville, North Carolina and, Friday, started individual bike setups for road bikes and, the next day, time trial bikes. Between fits, the athletes' team director Thad Fischer and team owner Anne Bolyea went for team training rides, as well undergoing fitness testing.
Team photographer Coke Whitworth was on hand for individual portraits, team shots and photos of the riders on training rides. Witworth captured the women while using their new Orbea Opal bicycles. The girls tested the bikes while team mechanics Mike Boone and Bob Nixon were making the necessary adjustments for the riders.
Saturday evening, the riders gathered at the Hilton Garden Inn for a meeting with Orbea representatives. The team was able to have any of its questions answered. They also discussed its marketing strategies for Orbea. The night continued, after the meeting with Orbea, the girls changed into their new kits for the presentation.
Master of ceremonies Chad Andrews introduced riders and staff to a room full press, family and the president of Cheerwine, Mark Ritchie. The president explained, "This program is very exciting and we look forward to the most successful racing season we have had in five years. Anne has done a wonderful job in picking riders and staff [new director Thad Fischer] and Cheerwine is extremely proud of this team."
After the intensive presentation weekend, the riders took off to South Carolina, where they spent a week of training in the mountains. "It was a very remote destination without the distractions of television or internet," noted Anne Bolyea. "The girls had a wonderful time bonding and riding upwards of six hours a day. In conjunction with the rides, the athletes' worked on 'unique' team building skills in the cabin with each rider going home with their own black and red friendship bracelets. I am going to plead the fifth about the cherry tattoos."
The team will start its season in Australia with the Geelong Tour and World Cup, and then head to New Zealand for the Trust House Tour, where Cheerwine rider Catherine Cheatly won in 2005. The team will also send a squad to the first races in California, starting with the Santa Clarita race and then start the NRC calendar.
For a full roster please visit the Cyclingnewsteams database.